Parenting Tool FOUR –

Have you ever gone to bed at the end of the day and thought, “Where did that day go?”

The older I get, the faster time seems to fly by. Our busy lifestyles and energetic children makes it seem that life is rushing past us at 500 miles per hour. It takes conscious effort to slow down and live in the moment.

Slowing down has a fancy new name – mindfulness. When you slow down enough to examine each fleeting thought that passes through you, what are they? Pick one thought and examine it.

Intentional Date Nights With Your Kids!

Have you ever considered dating your kids? Just like you go on a date with your spouse to spend one-on-one time together, you can (and I propose, you should) do the same with your children! A study from the Journal of Marriage and Family showed that kids who spend more time with their parents are less likely to abuse alcohol or drugs; are less likely to engage in risky, delinquent, or illegal behaviors; and achieve better math scores.

I am so inspired at how my sister-in-law, Shannon, makes this a priority. As a Mama to three young girls, she has come up with a crafty and creative way to intentionally “date” each of her daughters every month.

Parenting Tool THREE

I’m always looking for new ways to improve my parenting skills. My goal is to be more thoughtful, kinder, and forgiving. I want to be more in tune with my children and myself as I raise them. I have found that the more reflective I can be, the better I end up parenting. And that brings us to tool number three.

Write down your observations. Or, to make it sound fancier, Journal Your Way Through Parenting. I love writing and journaling because putting pen to paper helps me work things out in a way that nothing else can.

Holidays in Reverse

As parents, we all desire for our children to be kind, honest, motivated, generous, and joyful. But it seems like culture imposes selfishness, discontent, materialism, and a “need” for the latest trends. How can you combat those tendencies in your children? Can you step aside from the status quo? Would you evidence your beliefs through your actions and words? I challenge you to begin this movement by implementing holidays in reverse.

Parenting Tool TWO

One of my most cherished memories of my second born is when the Teacher’s Assistant (TA) at nursery school told me about a conversation she had had with my son who was four years old at the time. The school was about to perform their holiday concert piece and as the kids were lining up to get ready to go on stage, my son was pulled out of line and placed between two boys who weren’t his friends.

My son was not happy. He told the T.A. that he wanted to be with his friends. The T.A. nodded and took him off to the side, out of earshot of the other children. She explained to him that the boys he was now stuck between needed his positive influence in order to keep their troublesome behaviours in check. My four year old son thought about this for a few seconds and then said, “I get that. Thank you for telling me why you did this.”